Reliever Chris Mazza has cleared waivers and elected minor league free agency, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The righty had been designated for assignment by the Rays earlier in the week.
Mazza signed a minor league deal over the offseason and cracked the Opening Day roster. He was called upon by skipper Kevin Cash twice out of the bullpen, allowing ten runs (seven earned) over 5 1/3 combined innings. Mazza landed on the injured list two weeks into the season due to back spasms, and he was eventually transferred to the 60-day IL. The 32-year-old recently returned to health, but the Rays chose to DFA him rather than put him back onto the MLB roster.
That brief look in April marked four consecutive seasons of some MLB action for Mazza, who debuted with the 2019 Mets. He pitched for the Red Sox during the abbreviated 2020 campaign and has spent the past couple seasons in Tampa Bay. Through 79 major league innings, the California native owns a 5.35 ERA with a modest 18.5% strikeout rate.
While he’s yet to cement himself in any team’s major league bullpen, Mazza has a solid minor league track record. He owns a 3.68 ERA through parts of four years in Triple-A, where he’s punched out a more capable 23.9% of batters faced. That resume should allow him to land with another team on a minor league pact over the coming days or weeks.